Friday, May 31, 2013

In Detroit, Art May Get To Imitate The City's Financial Life

Hot on the heels of the art tax levy on Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne Counties to ensure fund the Detroit Institute of Arts after the City of Detroit has been chronically underfunding it in August 2012, comes the news that the Detroit Institute of Arts' collections, since they are owned by the City of Detroit, may go on the auction block to pay the City's debt's should the city file bankruptcy.

The Detroit News: Like DIA, smaller museums fear their assets are in peril

The prospect of the Detroit Institute of Arts losing its collection to satisfy creditors in a municipal bankruptcy is prompting concern at other city-owned venues with potentially vulnerable assets.

This is why the City of Detroit can't have nice things - it squanders them relentlessly, and any further bailout or tax in support of its institutions may just be the continuation of the greatest con game it has run to date.

Now, this may be just a bunch of posturing to get yet a further bailout of the city, a threat of "Bail us out or the Art gets it", or it may be the natural result of letting this corrupt Democrat-controlled city own such shiny baubles without being able to afford them.

Either way, anyone else in the Tri-County area feeling more than a little played over the tax?

At least one Commissioner in Macomb County does: The Macomb Daily: Broken promises — Macomb officials could halt DIA tax

Expressing dismay over false promises provided in 2012 by the Detroit Institute of Arts, Macomb officials are ready to halt the DIA tax money collected in the county if some of the museum’s renowned artwork is sold to pay off the city of Detroit’s massive debts.

A review of audio recordings from Macomb County Board of Commissioners meetings from April 2012 show that DIA officials, ultimately successful at levying a tri-county property tax to rescue the beleaguered museum, repeatedly assured the commissioners that the multibillion-art collection could not be sold off, even if an emergency manager was brought in or the city declared bankruptcy.

The promises from Detroit and its institutions come with expiry dates that kick in right after a check is cashed or a tax approved.

One can only hope that Oakland County's leaders follow Macomb's example and will not stand for their residents being payed for suckers with further wastage of county taxes bailing out Detroit's bad debts.

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